On Wednesday, October 17, the Victoria Book Prize Society awarded the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize to two Greater Victoria authors for the best books published in the preceding year in the categories of adult fiction, non-fiction or poetry and children’s literature or illustration.
City of Victoria Butler Book Prize
Bill Gaston for A Mariner’s Guide to Self-Sabotage (Douglas & McIntyre)
Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize
Monique Gray Smith for Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation (Orca Book Publishers).
The winners were selected by two independent juries comprised of representatives from the literary arts community.
Founded in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize was founded in 2008.
About the Prize Winners
The Mariner’s Guide to Self Sabotage
The Mariner’s Guide to Self Sabotage is a set of 10 cautionary tales showcasing Gaston’s range and narrative versatility, moving seamlessly from the funny to the poignant to the surprising and absurd. Gaston has a gift for making ordinary moments feel transcendent. Gaston’s earlier book Gargoyles (House of Anansi) won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2007.
Gaston is a novelist, short-story writer and playwright. His short-story collection Gargoyles was short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and won the ReLit Award. In 2002, Gaston was a finalist for the Giller Prize with Mount Appetite, and the inaugural recipient of the Timothy Findley Prize, awarded by the Writer’s Trust of Canada.
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation actively explores Canada’s collective history, present and future. It may be the first time some readers have thought about what reconciliation means and, more specifically, what it means to them and their role in it. Readers will learn about the lives of residential school
survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.
Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of twins. She is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature. Gray Smith and her family are blessed to live on Lekwungen territory.